COVID’S WEAPON – FEAR

Photo by Daria Sannikova on Pexels.com

        In these days of Covid, one is not allowed to feel puny!  And I fell for it.  Okay, I’ll back up a bit.

        Last week I began to feel bad, slept a lot, and took a lot of Tylenol.  Didn’t walk Thursday or Friday.  Good for the weekend when I don’t walk anyway.  I was going to get back with my regular routine today. 

        But my sister came; she didn’t stay because Sammy was sick.  She didn’t want to catch anything.  She is right; I shouldn’t go out and spread any germs around.  Fear.

        I had planned a family get-together for this weekend but I called it off.  Why?  Fear.  I was going to have my nails done, but I called it off.  Why?  Fear.  I had an appointment for a hearing aid check, but I called it off.  Why?  Fear. 

        Decided not to do any blogging this week except for Bloganuary which is easy and doesn’t take much planning, or thinking.  After all, my mind is dull.  Is a dull mind a sign of Covid?  I don’t know, but it might be.  Fear. 

         Have I checked all the symptoms to be sure I’m not getting Covid?  Fear.

        A couple of hours ago, I remembered back in the days when I would have to take some sick leave from school.  Back then what I had was called a Common Cold.  I doubled up on my Vitamin C!  I don’t think it ever lasted longer than three days.  What has changed from those days when one could have a cold, take some aspirin, and get back at the mill in a few days?  Fear.  Covid.

I’m not saying Covid is not to be feared; I’m saying a cold is not to be feared. I will stay at home and not spread my virus around; I’ll double up on my vitamin C, but I’ll not be bullied into fear.

2 Tim. 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

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GIFTS TO THE SENSES

BLOGANUARY JANUARY 10 – WHAT ARE 5 THINGS YOU ARE GRATEFUL FOR TODAY?

I need structure of some kind to choose the five things I’m most thankful for, so I have decided to choose one item that pleases each of my five senses.

Sight. There are so many pictures of beautiful sunsets in these wide-open plains where I live. They are particularly gorgeous this time of year. Does temperature change have anything to do with their beauty? I don’t know but I appreciate the Lord’s artistic blessings of color.

Hearing. My sons and their wives bought me an unusual style wall clock. It is unique in many ways. When it changes hours, many moving parts provide action and music.

Taste. I tend to like heavy kinds of food which are more fitting during cold weather than during summer. So I indulge in tacos, chili, beans, and potato soup.

Touch. Oh, the comfort of silky, soft, and warm blankets, wraps, and robes!

Smell. Of course, we are still in the pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and cedarwood season. They are nice but even better is when I get to smell the homemade bread Renee bakes. Add the smell of a wood-burning fireplace to make it perfect.

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https://bloganuary.wordpress.com/2022/01/10/daily-prompt-january-10-2022/

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GABBY EXTROVERT?

BLOGANUARY, Prompt #9 What do people incorrectly assume about me?

Nobody ever cuts me out to have worked as hard as I have to become a “gabby extrovert.” I started off as a timid and quiet child. I remember when I would crawl under the table because I was embarrassed to be noticed. My Great-Uncle Dick called me a pouter. I dare say that did not help me any to grow out of my shell.

I loved grammar but I hated composition of any form. After I I had taught school a few years, I applied to a college to get my Master’s Degree. The application asked me to turn the page over and write a paragraph about myself. I was petrified. They did accept me but I’m sure it was for other reasons than my ability to write an interesting bio paragraph.

As time passed I found that if I followed the leading of the Holy Spirit, he would equip me to do what he asked of me. I did have to go out of my comfort zone many times but I learned to love to meet new people and in my desire to make them comfortable I had to take the lead in forming acquaintances.

I was over fifty before I ever wrote anything to be shared with others. Still for many years, my writing was private. Until blogging… That has made a “gabby extrovert” out of me.

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https://bloganuary.wordpress.com/2022/01/09/daily-prompt-january-9-2022/

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PRAISE HIM

PRAISE: God from whom all blessings flow:

PRAY: Our Father, who art in Heaven, Blessed be your Wonderful Name, Your Acts, Your Love. Thank you for your daily provisions to us for our earthly and spiritual good.

PRAISE: Him all creatures here below.

PRAY: May all your creation praise you in the measure of ability and talents you have given for that purpose. Help us to do the unpleasant things that you require such as forgiving those who hurt us, loving and praying for our enemies, and being generous with our time and money.

PRAISE: Him above ye Heavenly Hosts;

PRAY: You are worthy all honor and power and glory. Thank you that unseen holy beings have perfected praise to you. Make our praise to be sincere, holy, pure and without pretense just as the praise which is given you by the Heavenly Hosts.

PRAISE: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

PRAY; Thank you, – Father, Son and Holy Ghost—for the absolute marvel that you are…that You, the Triune God, the Great I Am, care to become all things for all men. Father, the Creating Provider; Son, the saving and sanctifying Savior; Holy Ghost, the inviting, comforting, Guardian and Guide.

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Cut, edit, paste this post from April, 2017

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MATH OR DOODLES?

Teacher notes in Jeron’s folder “He’s capable but unmotivated.”  Succeeding years revealed the same conclusions from teachers, principles, and counselors.  They tried. 

The turn=around happened in a high school math class.  Jeron was doodling in his workbook instead of doing math.  Mr. Taylor told Jeron to turn in a “pictorial essay” in which he expresses his feelings about math and doodling. 

Jeron did so.  His picture consisted of a swamp with river reeds, cattails, and azaleas. 

Mr. Taylor is watching as Jeron draws in public square.  Jeron has earned $700 today.  He will give the expense/income figures to his accountant.

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Rochelle hosts the 100 word picture prompt at https://rochellewisoff.com/ PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox

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EVALUATING MY CHURCH

Several years ago I was standing in the congregation singing worship songs when it pierced my mind that we only sang songs in worship to God—Like “Exalt Him” or “Awesome God.  If a Hebrew, Muslim, or Sun Worshipper were standing beside me, we could be singing the same song.  We hardly ever sang a song which mentioned Jesus.  That punched me hard!  I believe our only communication to the Father is through his Son via the Holy Ghost.  Did those songs ever reach the throne of God? 

I believe that our One God is Triune, so maybe so.  I know we must go through Jesus Christ for salvation.  Probably for praise also.  I do recognize that the Lord’s Prayer allows us to address “Our Father” so I’m not too dogmatic about this issue. 

However, that is one of the issues that set me on a “Jesus Quest.”  I could go to my own church first service then go visiting other churches.  I found the same situations in nearly all of them.  Most childrens’ department were decorated with “hip” Bible characters or beautiful animals from the Creation Story.  Do you suppose the children were ever told that the Creation was by Jesus?  It was—according to John.

I checked literature at the kiosks.  Read through the mission statements, themes, Logos, Slogans.  Very little showed Jesus in the church.

Here are the slogans: 

Passion for a Deeper Life

Growing Together

Where No One is Left Behind & There’s Always Room For You

A Family of People Just Like You

Great City, Great People, Great Life

Big God! Live Loud!

For People Who Thought They Would Never Like Church

The Church that LAF’s    – Love, Acceptance, Forgiveness

Helping You Get to the Other Side

Two Baptists and one Pentecostal mentions Christ/Jesus

BAPTIST – Sharing God’s love to transform people into full devoted followers of Christ.

BAPTIST – Helping People Know Jesus, Become Family,  Serve the World,

Pentecostal – Christ-centered church building Christ-centered people

What does this say about Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life – our means of salvation?       

I have loved all my church homes  – small, middle-sized, and large.  I have never had a mega-church as my home church.  I know some people who do, and they appear to be happy  – extremely loyal, but often not very faithful in attendance.  I do believe church size contributes to its member’s maturity.  The ability of the small church to nurture and teach one another, their accountability to one another, and generally their individual relationship with Jesus are the things that large churches form cell groups to attain; however, they probably do not have enough resources to have many ministries and helps to meet needs for different ages, interests, and problems.  So, Small Church, be careful to not grow in.  A large church provides a fantastic range of helps, ministries, talents, money, skills, and other resources to get things done; however, members in large churches can get by without being discipled, without being accountable, and without knowing Jesus.  So, Large Church, be careful to not grow out.  Small and Large Churches, recognize and appreciate the strengths of each other, thereby, helping you all to grow up.

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FUNNY IS….

Funny to me that a quip, joke, or short story have an unexpected and humorous ending. For that reason, I love puns. “Did you hear about the kidnapping? He woke up.” “What do mama camels have that nothing else has? Baby camels.”

Telling stories about my own mess-ups are funny. I hardly remember any dreams except funny ones.. Now I am not a gambler. I even avoid one dollar lottery tickets; if it is a good cause, I generally donate, or tell the seller to write in his name.

But I would participate in penny-bingo, but ten dollar bingo? No way. In my dream today, I went to a $10 bingo game. I was astounded. It was being given my a group of my Christian lady friends. I remarked to one that we must have turned into the big-time with costs like that. She put her head down and began to cry at my criticism. I was so sorry. I put my head on hers and begged forgiveness; she would not give it. So I decided I must do something to keep all my other friends from turning against me. I went to the tables to join them in an effort to make amends. They were all putting the cards away. I was too late! I woke without finding out whether or not all my friends were mad at me. 😀

If you like that dream, you will love the one about my husband and me https://onetahayes.com/2017/12/21/casserole-dreams-and-sammy/

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Bloganuary https://bloganuary.wordpress.com/ #daily-prompt Prompt for January 7 “What Makes Me Laugh?”

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FOXES IN THE VINEYARD

This is my fourth (and last) post regarding the condition of Christ’s vineyard – his local churches. The other three were posted Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

BUT SEE THE LITTLE FOXES dancing around in the shadows where the foxes are feeding.  Foxes of compromise and rational thinking.  Ruining the fruit.  When does love become jealousy? When is joy only laughter?  Human worry is only natural, but peace is disappearing.  Impatience and harsh words have “bullied” out our longsuffering and gentleness.  Goodness and meekness are giving way to greed and power.  Faith is strong only when or if health and bank accounts flourish.  Compulsions have replaced temperance. 

BEWARE THE SELF-RIGHTEOUS foxes of criticism, selfishness, pride, and hypocrisy.  And watch out for the foxes of laziness, lethargy, and isolation.  Pride is often the biggest fox of all.  I had a friend who was a lawyer who quit going to a large church.  He said it was because the pastor liked to recognize him in the church congregation, but when he met the pastor at Walmart, the pastor did not know him.

TOO OFTEN THERE ARE foxes of immorality hiding among the congregation.  Foxes of pornography, adultery, even murder!  True.  Believe me, we were bowled over when one of our dear ladies was convicted of murdering her husband.  She is in prison. 

THE BIBLE SUPPORTS the Church welcoming and loving all these kinds of people.  It is where they need to come to get help and they should find an abundance of acceptance and love.  However, it does not support ignoring or accepting these sins among those who claim to be Christians.  Paul was quit harsh with the Corinthians church who were ignoring an immoral brother in their midst.  (1 Cor. 5)

I’M SURE THERE ARE more foxes, but my purpose is not to name foxes.  My purpose is to bring awareness to them and say they must be killed (or neutralized at least). 

WHETHER THEY CAN BE KILLED by an all-out assault on them by the blood of Jesus or whether you are going to let them live but neutralize them every day, I will leave to the theologians, but something has to be done with them if we are going to live holy.  “Without holiness, no one will see the Lord.” (Heb 12:14 NIV))  That is only possible when we are in Jesus.  The righteousness of Jesus is our holiness.  But that does not absolve us from living holy lives.  “For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” (I Thes. 4:7)  And only true Christians can claim His righteousness.  Those who have been born again  – who are new creatures in Christ Jesus. 

NOTE: There was some question about what church I have based these remarks and conclusions. It was an amalgamation from several different churches. If I remember correctly it involved seven Pentecostal, one Baptist, and one Church of Christ. Several years ago (15 or more) I went on what I called a “Jesus Quest” during which I wrote a manuscript. One chapter was called “The Vineyard.”

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ORDINARY LADY – BIG EFFECT

BLOGANUARY JAN 6  SOMEONE WHO INSPIRES ME AND WHY

I’m leaving the Bible characters and the Elites for others to remember.  There are many “ordinary people” in my church world who inspire me.  That is the group from which I chose my “Inspirer” today. She will be a surprised woman when she finds I have done this.

LONNIE MOORE, I choose you. 

These are the reasons I pick you.  1. Your attention to dress and good grooming; especially as you follow Col. 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.2. Your faithful attendance and loyalty to our church.  3.  Your hand-shaking and neck-hugging.  4.  Your dedication to the choir.  5. Your sweet worship while you sing.  6. Your lack of criticism, doubt, tale-bearing, and complaining.  6. Your support to your twin (who had much in common with you).  7.  Your love, concern, and prayers for our country.  8. Your traditional beliefs.  9. Your concern for those on the prayer chain.  10. Your humility. 

LONNIE, YOU NEED TO BE CLONED!

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Bloganuary https://bloganuary.wordpress.com/ #daily-prompt

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MAKING GOOD WINE

Today is part three of my discussion “The Vineyard” which was published Monday here https://onetahayes.com/2022/01/04/the-vineyard/ Part two published Tuesday here https://onetahayes.com/2022/01/05/pastoring-the-church/

MAYBE THE PASTOR STARTED with 11 and grew to 100 or started with 400 and grew to 4000.   Whatever the size there seems to be a stopping place on the growth.  What happened?  Wouldn’t it be nice if the reason were that they became a mother church and sent 75 people, piano player included, out to begin in a new location?  That does happen on occasion, but I’m afraid more often it is because of a “church split” rather than “church birth.” 

MAYBE IT JUST STOPPED GROWING because that was a good size to do what that pastor and his team were capable of doing.  Maybe it was because the nursery was not sufficiently staffed!  But it might be that God didn’t choose to give a ten talent-job to a five talented man.  Nothing wrong with that.  In a church growth class at some time I was told that most salvation experiences occur in churches of less than fifty people.   It is okay with me if you disagree.  It was just what the author of that text said.  I can’t vouch for it. 

LET ME RELATE AN interesting experience.  I talked with a grandmother who was excited about her twenty-something granddaughter going to church.  That church of several thousand is well known, and it has all the gadgets available.  But I was quite taken aback when my friend said “Janie” came in after church and asked her mother what it meant to be saved, because she had been saved that morning!  I didn’t want to be a stick in the mud so I kept my mouth shut and hoped for the best!  About a month later, I visited my friend again.  She said Janie was doing well.  That Janie said she and her boyfriend had gone to a little Baptist church and got saved.  She said the preacher was boring, but they were going to attend that church.  (Yay for the Baptists; Woe for the Baptists?  I’m just reporting the story.—smiling at you, dear Friends.) 

PASTORS, WHATEVER SIZE your vineyard, remember that the fruit is what matters!  What is going through the winepress?  Do you know the chorus about being poured out like wine, broken like bread to feed the hungry, being sold out and being one with Jesus so he can do what he wants.  Is your vineyard producing good kinds of fruit?  Yes, you say.  Probably so.  How many branches are bearing fruit?  How much do they bear?  I guess that will be one of the issues settled when man’s work will be judged by fire (I Cor. 3:13).

IN THE ISAIAH PASSAGE the vineyard owner goes to check his vineyard; he found only bad fruit.  Stroll with me through a present day vineyard.  Gaze out over the vines.  Good vines, bearing much fruit  – love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.  This is the display growing in the sun and attached firmly to the vine. 

MY PERSONAL NOTE TO YOU, DEAR PASTOR, IS IF YOU HAVE FOLLOWED THE LORD AND ALWAYS HAVE HAD SMALL CHURCHES, TAKE COURAGE – JUST BE ENCOURAGED TO KNOW YOU MAY HAVE HAD THE BEST LITTLE CELL GROUP IN TOWN. 😀 Your vineyard might be small, but it might be making the very best wine to be served at the Master’s table. You have the same chance to hear “Well done, My Good and Faithful Servant” as Paul. IMAGINE THAT!!!

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